290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. He further described two such stressors, one good and one bad. They are respectively:

Eustress or that which produces growth, performance enhancements and repair.
Distress, which can cause decay, damage, death or disease in the living organism.

The General Adaptation Syndrome theory states there are three phases to an exposure to stress. Phase number one is the initial alarm, phase two is the resistance to the stress and the final phase is the adaptation to the stress (which Selye called exhaustion).

Breaking the three phases down into manageable bits of information one will find the first stage is the body’s initial response to the stress, i.e. flight, fright or freeze. (“Shock or alarm”, as it is described in the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book by Baechle and Earle) The body at this point has a temporary inability to cope with the situation; however, it quickly calls on energy reserves and begins to function in a more appropriate manner.

This is the beginning of the resistance phase in which the body adapts to the stimulus and returns to a more normal state. The body is preparing itself for a continuation of similar stresses by growing stronger in response.

The final stage is exhaustion. If the organism does not have a pause in the constant stress, it begins to break down. Thus, overtraining has reared its ugly head and progress begins to “grind to a halt”. Minor injuries appear, desire diminishes, and working out is no longer enjoyable. The workout program has failed!

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS*D

In days of old when men were men and women were women they exercised in the fields or in their homes from sun up until sun down. And no one ever mentioned overtraining, supercompensation, distress or ustress; they just did what had to be done to survive. They ate clean, lived clean and died clean.

We could take a lesson from them and do the same but we don’t. Sure they were strong, they had to be just to keep living back then. It is apparent from reading any history at all that staying in shape was not the reason these old timers did so much hard work. It was to continue to live. But times have changed and we don’t have to struggle quite so much to stay alive-at least in many areas of the world. Now we can go to a gym or workout in our homes to stay in shape.

If we followed the regimen of sun up to sun down we would get in shape darn fast but how long could we tolerate the program? Not long I am sure.

“Supercompensation” is the thin window of opportunity between overreaching and overtraining. It is the ideal goal in any well-designed exercise program, especially if you are contemplating a contest in the near future. But, how is it reached without overtraining and getting hurt?

The body’s adaptive mechanisms are wonderful and can do marvelous things to keep you healthy. However, you must pay attention to what it is saying about the evolution-taking place concerning your training loads, duration and intensity and the effects on you.

150419 Actively Fit Seniors blog

150419 ActivelyFitSeniors.blog 

If you are retired or in the near future going to be retired this blog may be of benefit to you. Check it out and see what you think.

Another Actively Fit Seniors site is here at YouTube


Here is the Facebook site


If you are active, send over some videos of what you do to stay healthy. If they are approved then I will add them to the videos page. However, the downside to this is there will be no payment for these and by sending them over to me you are also giving me a release consent form  as stated ion the form below:

Video Consent and Release Form

Without expectation of compensation or other remuneration, now or in the future, I hereby give my consent to __________________________ [legal entity/organization], its affiliates and agents, to use my image and likeness and/or any interview statements from me in its publications, advertising or other media activities (including the Internet).

This consent includes, but is not limited to: (Initial where applicable)

_________ – (a) Permission to interview, film, photograph, tape, or otherwise make a video reproduction of me and/or record my voice;

_________ – (b) Permission to use my name; and

_________ – (c) Permission to use quotes from the interview(s) (or excerpts of such quotes), the film, photograph(s), tape(s) or reproduction(s) of me, and/or recording of my voice, in part or in whole, in its publications, in newspapers, magazines and other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including the Internet), in theatrical media and/or in mailings for educational and awareness.

This consent is given in perpetuity, and does not require prior approval by me.





Signature of the Actively Fit Seniors Representative, Danny M. O’Dell

No Minors are to be videoed and sent in for my review and approval. If sent, they will not be used on the ActivelyFitSeniors Facebook, WordPress or YouTube sites.

Revised 080419



150419 Burning off the calories and keeping healthy

150419 Burning off the calories and keeping healthy

Physical activity burns calories. The optimum method of controlling your weight is a combination of good nutrition (see a registered dietitian), and exercise. The question now is what kind of exercise is the most efficient and longest lasting in its effects.

Many people use aerobics to successfully help control their weight and improve their physical fitness while others use strength training to achieve similar goals.

In each case, physical activity speeds up your metabolism for a few hours afterwards. Of course, how much this materializes depends a great deal on the intensity and duration of the activity. Nonetheless, it happens and at a higher rate than if you did nothing at all.

The best way to keep this higher rate of calorie burning is to strength train. The reason: strength training increases your lean muscle to fat ratio. The higher this ratio is the more your body burns the calories because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.

Strive to strength train 2-4 times a week for a minimum of thirty to fifty minutes at a time. Do your large muscle groups such as the chest, shoulders, legs, and back for 3-5 sets of 8 to twelve repetitions for each exercise. On the off days from strength training, do your aerobic training for fifteen to forty minutes per session.

No matter which method you choose, consult with your doctor beforehand, keep the intensity up, and stick with it.

080419 Training your breathing part 3

Your healthy athletes should be able to hold their breath more than just a few seconds during the heaviest part of the lift, commonly referred to as the sticking point. Instruct them to take a larger than normal breath, not excessive but a little bit bigger than normal, and then hold it through the sticking point.

Not only does maintaining control of your breathing contribute to a stronger physical effort, it can relax your body and mind. Dr. Yessis states that inhaling and exhaling before a physical effort helps the body to relax. However, this does not mean a total relaxation of the muscles.

Prior to beginning these movements there has to be some muscular tension throughout the body. For example, when doing the dead lift, this tension is brought about by taking the slack out of the bar before the lift begins. This places enough tension on the muscles to produce sufficient strength to lift the weight off the floor once the pull begins.


Yessis, Michael, Dr. Build a Better Athlete, Equilibrium Books

Zatsiorsky, V.M. and Kraemer, W.J. Science and Practice of Strength Training

Verkhoshansky, Y. and Siff, M., Supertraining 6th edition, published by Verkhoshansky

010419 Training your breathing part 2

010419 Training your breathing part 2

Proper breathing techniques are essential to any athletic endeavor and the learning of these skills correctly, right from the start, is an important first step to success in your athletes chosen sport. The introduction to correct breathing patterns properly begins on the first day, during the introduction to the sport, in the welcoming portion and continues onto the practice field or lifting stations.

According to Dr. Michael Yessis[1], “studies have shown that when you execute a skill, you hold your breath on exertion-during the power phase, when force is generated.” Holding the breath “on exertion provides up to 20% greater force, stabilizes the spine, and helps prevent lower back injuries. It transforms the trunk (and, in fact, the whole body) into a stable unit against which your hips, shoulders, and arms can move more effectively.”[2]

The underlying mechanism for potentiation of strength resulting from holding your breath on exertion relies on “a pneumomuscular reflex in which increased intralung pressure serves as a stimulus for the potentiation of muscle excitability. The true mechanisms of enhanced muscle excitability have yet to be studied.”[3]

Drs. Mel Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky “recommended that breath-holding should precede and accompany maximal efforts, which should be followed by brief exhalation-inhalation, unless technical adjustments have to be made, in which case breath holding must persist. Exercise with submaximal loading may be executed with longer phases of normal exhalation-inhalation and shorter phases of breath-holding. Neither rapid, short hyperventilation breathing, nor forced maximal inhalation is desirable for production of maximal effort during any phase of lifting.”[4]

[1] http://doctoryessis.com/about/dr-yessis/

Dr. Michael Yessis received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and his B.S. and M.S. from City University of New York. He is president of Sports Training, Inc., a diverse sports and fitness company. Dr. Yessis is also Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, where he was a multi-sports specialist in biomechanics (technique analysis) and sports conditioning and training.

[2] Yessis, M, Dr., Yessis, Michael, Dr. Build a Better Athlete, Equilibrium Books

[3] Zatsiorsky, V.M. and Kraemer, W.J. Science and Practice Of Strength Training, Published by Human Kinetics

[4] Verkhoshansky, Y. and Siff, M. Supertraining sixth edition published by Verkhoshansky